Injong of Joseon
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|Injong of Joseon|
|Revised Romanization||I Ho|
King Injong of Joseon (10 March 1515 – 8 August 1545, r. 1544–1545) was the 12th king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. His father was King Jungjong, and his mother was Queen Janggyeong, whose brother was Yun Im. As the firstborn, he became crown prince in 1520 and succeeded his father to the throne following Jungjong's death in 1544.
The young king was very ambitious, and tried to reform the government of the time that was rife with corruption, a legacy of the failed reforms during his father's reign. He rehabilitated Jo Gwang-jo and recruited Sarim scholars who turned away from politics after Third Literati Purge of 1519. His maternal uncle Yun Im exercised great power during this period. However, Injong was too often ill and died in 1545, just one year after coming to the throne. Following his death, Yum Im was executed by Yun Won-Hyung in the Fourth Purge of 1545 when King Myeongjong (son of the ambitious Queen Munjeong) succeeded the throne.
Some historians believe that Injong was poisoned by the Smaller Yun faction, led by Yun Won-Hyung, to enable Injong's half-brother to ascend the throne. According to unofficial chronicles, there is a tale of Munjeong finally showing love for her "adoptive" son King Injong, after decades of polite indifference (in reality behind-the-scenes hatred).
As Injong went to pay his morning respects, Munjeong’s face started radiating with a smile only a mother could give to her child. Injong took it as a sign that the Queen Mother was finally acknowledging him as the king, and in particular as her own son. He ate the ddeok that his step-mother gave him, not knowing that it would be the beginning of the end. He fell ill slowly, not enough to create any suspicion, but quickly enough that historians would later pick up on the event. Three days passed before Injong mysteriously died (after only 9 months of rule).
Queen Munjong’s son became King Myeongjong, while Munjeong became Queen Regent. The chronicles also tell that Munjeong was frequently visited by spirits at night after Injong’s death. So disturbed was she that she moved her residence from Gyeongbok Palace to Changdeok Palace.
- Father: King Jungjong (중종)
- Mother: Queen Janggyeong of the Papyeong Yun clan (장경왕후 윤씨)
- Consort: Queen Inseong of the Naju Bak clan (인성왕후 박씨)
- No Issue (in part due to his short rule and also due to his chronic illnesses)
His full posthumous name 
- King Injong Yeongjeong Heonmun Euimu Jangsuk Heumhyo the Great of Korea
- According to the chronicles the spirit is supposedly Injong, screaming with grief at the woman who could never be a mother to him even in death.
|Rulers of Korea